Marshall School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2027, new dean

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine welcomed its newest class of medical students to campus on July 26 with a series of orientation activities, followed by the official start of classes July 31.

The 72 incoming medical students embark on a four-year journey to become physicians. At Marshall, an integrated core curriculum during the first two years helps students understand the language of medicine. During years three and four, students apply the knowledge they have acquired as they learn to care for patients.

The Class of 2027 includes students from a variety of backgrounds representing 51 undergraduate colleges and universities across the country. Other interesting statistics about the class include:

  • 57% are from West Virginia.
  • 11% entered from Marshall’s B.S./M.D. program.
  • 93% were science majors.
  • 12% are first-generation college graduates.

The class also includes Marshall University’s first four M.D. early assurance students. The program, initiated in 2020, provides a clear pathway to medical school for both instate and out- of-state high-achieving undergraduate students at Marshall.

Orientation activities included a variety of teambuilding exercises, including a cupcake contest at Huntington’s Kitchen, adventures at Heritage Farm and Olympic-style games. Students were introduced to their assigned “learning communities,” which are student-led networks that foster a dedicated support system for medical students. Students also learned more about the structure and format of medical school and were introduced to the more than two dozen student organizations active at the School of Medicine.

The traditional White Coat Ceremony, sponsored by the Dr. Ali and Mrs. Corinna Oliashirazi family, was held Aug. 4. The White Coat Ceremony, during which incoming students receive their first white coats, was first introduced at Marshall in 1996 and is considered a rite of passage for students designed to instill the values of professionalism, humanism and compassionate care. Paul T Finch, M.D., associate professor of pediatric oncology at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and pediatric oncologist at Marshall Health and Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center, delivered the keynote address and served as the honorary cloaker. Finch was the recipient of the 2023 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award.

Drs. Joseph B. and Omayma T. Touma generously donated funds to provide each student with a top-of-the-line stethoscope. More than 100 additional School of Medicine alumni, family and friends sponsored the white coats as well as medical instruments received during orientation for the Class of 2027.

The ceremony included a special presentation welcoming the school’s new dean, David Gozal, MD, MBA, PhD (Hon), who began his tenure as vice president of health affairs at Marshall University and the sixth dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine on July 31.

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Media Contact: Sheanna M. Spence, Marshall Health/Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, 304-691-1639 

Date Posted: Saturday, August 5, 2023